Screening for Gambling Disorder with the Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS) is easy, but knowing what to do when a client screens positive can be a challenge. Identify the local, state, or national organizations you will refer clients to in advance to be prepared on Screening Day.
If your organization regularly screens for gambling…
Follow your organization’s already established procedures for what to do next. Refer or assess the client as you normally would.
If your organization does not have established next steps…
First, be sure to explain to them what a positive screen means. A positive result on the BBGS is not a diagnosis for Gambling Disorder. Rather, a positive result indicates that they should receive further assessment to determine what assistance is right for them.
Next, connect them to the local, state, or national resources you identified in preparation for Screening Day. One possible option is the National Problem Gambling Helpline, at (800) 522-4700. This Helpline will connect clients to the appropriate resources for further assessment. This number is also found on our Key Hotlines page, along with other hotlines that may prove useful to your clients. Some states will have their own helplines. Before you start screening, check with your state to see if they have such a resource. Relying on a helpline that is local may lead to better follow up options for someone who has a positive screen.
You may also want to consider directing your client to our free self-help workbook titled Your First Step to Change. You can also direct them to the Division on Addiction’s Information about Gambling Disorder page for more information. Additionally, you can review our referrals page for more organizations ready to support your client. Please be aware that some of these are state organizations in Massachusetts, and you should find similar options in your state or region prior to Screening Day.
Finally, remember that talking about a positive gambling screen can be a stressful conversation. Reassure the individual that you will help connect them with the resources they need.